3 Reasons Why Pool Tables at Kava Bars are a Great Idea

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Also check outThe 3 Reasons Why People Go To Kava Bars

The team here at Kava-Bula have traveled across the world visiting and helping to set up kava bars. What makes a good kava bar is a great atmosphere, kava, and activities that should keep guests entertained for hours. One of the best activities to have a kava bar is a pool table for 3 reasons.

There are 3 reasons why kava bars should think of including a pool table for their patrons. First, a pool table is a great way to build a community around the business. Second, a good pool table will keep guests in the bar and can be a great way for them to socialize. Third, even though pool tables can cost a lot to maintain they have a high-profit margin.

Generally speaking from our experience kava bars that have pool tables in them often see a much larger success rate and stay in business for several years. The trick to installing the right pool table for your kava bar is to buy a mid-range table with durable felt and surround the table with durable flooring.

The trick to making the pool table work at your kava bar is to make it free. I know this sounds counterintuitive but since you make a majority of your money from drink sales it more than makes up for the potential loss of revenue from operating the pool table ‘at a loss.’

Let’s jump right in yeah. Here are the 3 reasons why Pool Tables at Kava Bars are a great idea.

A Pool Table Will Begin To Build A Community Around The Business

Here is a secret to making any local business successful; building a local community around the business allows for organic marketing to take place.

This is why the team here at Kava-Bula always recommends installing a pool table into the kava bar and then hosting local tournaments for a small bar tab. While on the surface this might sound like a bad idea because your giving out product it actually makes a lot more money in the long run.

We recommend hosting a tournament one day every week with a bar tab of between $20-$30 for the first-place winner. It will take some time to get the tournament up and running but after a couple of weeks, you should begin to see a steady crowd begin to form.

The best part about this is that people will start to buy your kava once they are in the building. Don’t force patrons to purchase to take part in the tournament, they will naturally just start to purchase a drink as they wait. Remember the point of a pool table at a kava bar is to grow a community that keeps on coming back.

Kava is designed to cause people to relax. Unlike alcohol which might start drama and fights at a traditional bar most people drinking kava are chill. This combined with the pool tournament will cause word-of-mouth advertising to spread like wildfire after a while.

This is going to drive business for years to come and will directly lead to the success of the kava bar. A good pool table is a great way to bring the community together and we always recommend it; you will find it is a perfect match.

A Pool Table Will Keep People in the Bar and Coming Back

This is another great reason why we always recommend that kava bars have at least one pool table if they can fit it in.

You would be surprised to learn just how many people go back to an individual place because they have a good pool table. We have spoken with hundreds of patrons of kava bars around the United States; the kava bars that have pool tables nearly always have a dedicated crowd and do better than the ones that don’t.

The reason behind this is that a pool table is a perfect place for people to discuss the events of their lives and make new friends. Most people don’t take the game of pool very seriously and it is just a place for them to hang out. Most patrons will ask to play pool with random people and that is how a community will form.

Since we are operating the pool table as free-to-play there is no pressure to allow someone else to play or have your guest worry about who has to play. This will start to build a community around the kava bar which will cause people to keep coming back.

There are a couple of kava bars that we did consulting work on down in Florida that noticed a sizable increase in traffic once they installed a pool table; one bar nearly doubled their product sales over a one-year period by installing their own pool table! This traffic continued to keep on coming back year over year because of the good experience they had with the pool table, drinks, and atmosphere of the kava bar.

When you open a kava bar you are in business to sell good quality kava drinks for decent prices. The kava is the selling point but you need to give people a reason to come back and a pool table is a prime reason. This will start to build a community naturally if done right.

Pool Tables at Kava Bars Have a High-Profit Margin

Another reason why kava bars should include pool tables is that they naturally have a very high-profit margin. Remember we always recommend operating the pool tables as ‘free’ so that you don’t burden the guest with paying for the table.

Here are some basic statistics from our years of operating pool tables at kava bars.

Pool table to the number of seats in the kava barOne pool table per 20-30 seats
Amount of games your table will experience a day at full bar capacity40-45 games (2-3 games per hour)
Lifespan of mid-range felt on a bar pool table1.5-2 years at 40-45 games per day
Cost to maintain/refelt mid-range pool table$400-$600
Cost of mid-range pool table + extra pool ques$3,700

The above numbers are what we see most often for kava bars operating their own pool table. The largest expense is going to be the pool table itself with enough basic pool cues to cover the number of patrons.

A lot of kava bars make the mistake of charging for the pool table or forcing guests to buy a drink before playing. You should operate the pool table at a loss and not charge guests to play. Just make some basic rules for playing such as no crazy shots.

The reason we operate the pool tables at no cost to the guest is that you want to sell them on drinks. The longer you keep them in your kava bar the more likely they are to buy a drink. This is where you will make your money. One kava drink can be sold for around $7-9 depending on your location.

If you can get your guests to buy two kava shells in one hour then that is around $14-$20 in gross revenue. At a 70% profit margin on the kava that is going to be a profit of $9.80-$14.00. Traditional pool halls charge $5 per hour just to play pool, now your nearly double that while also building a community around the kava bar.

The ROI on the pool table itself is around 8 months with a local crowd visiting the kava bar. The goal here is to keep guests coming back into your kava bar to play pool and hang out. Trust us the pool table will pay itself off and then some. When it comes time to refelt you will be glad you ended up including the table for the guests.


That’s about to including a pool table in your kava bar. It is a great idea all around and only helps to give a kava bar the best chance to succeed.

The trick is to build the area around the kava bar with durable materials. Your guests are going to jump the ball off the table or spill drinks around the table itself. The felt is normally ok with kava water and after drying it will brush right off. That being said it is normally a good idea to have your guests not drink over the pool table.


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